guns. so california respond by saying, yes, the law says you can carry weapons if they're not concealed. but when we wrote that law we didn't mean black guys with leather coats and berets. so they quickly moved to change the laws, and the panthers responded by storming the hearing and n sacramento, and it made national news, and i'm looking at this on grandma's black and white tv, seeing the panthers storm the legislature, going, they're crazy. they got guns and leather coats. they're crazy, and the powerful white men are ducking under their seeds for cover, and then the panthers come out, chairman bobby reads the statement about the constitutional right to bear arms and we have to defends ourselves because the police are not defending our communities, they're occupying our communes, and then the reporter says, please stop their cars and he found more guns and communist literature in the trick. said, it's so crazy. i said, they got leather coats,
guns. the man said their communists. i'm joining that one. cause you're a kitchen you want to be with the roughest and the toughest. >> you can watch this and other programs online at become tv.org. >> coming up next, ben carson shares his thoughts on the latest political landscape. hexanes the similarities between the united states and empires that declined. he also makes recommendses on what should be done to deter america from following the same path. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. [applause] >> now, let me just say that's more than a quarter of a century. i'm a little older than that. but it's a real --
okay. it's a real pleasure to be here with you all this evening. i've heard a lot about the blackburn institute, and the directorship and i'm honored to be part hoff this distinguished group. i wanted to talk a little bit this evening about some of the things that really shaped my own life and my own philosophy. you know, i was one of those people who kind of knew what wanted to do from very early on. medicine was always the thing that interested me. if there was ever a story on television or on the radio about medicine, i was right there. just like a magnet. i even liked going to the doctor's office. but the thing that really caught my attention was the church. and so i was school --
frequently have stories on about missionary doctors, and these were people who at great personal expense traveled all over the world to bring not only physical but mental and spiritual healing to people, and i they seemed like the most noble people on the earth and i decided i would be a missionary doctor and that was my dream until i was 13, at which time, having grownup dire poverty, decided i would rather be rich. so at that point missionary doctor was out, and psychiatrist was in. now, didn't know any psychiatrists but on television they seemed like rich people. they drove jaguars, his lived in big mansions and all they had to do is talk to crazy people all day, and seemed like i was doing that anyway so i thought, this is going to work out extremely well. and i started reading psychology today. i was the local shrink in high
school. everybody brought me their problems. i would stroke my chin, say, tell me about your mama, and then i even majored in psychology and college, did advance psych in medical school. i was going to be the world's greatest psychiatrist, and thin started meeting a bunch of psychiatrists. need i say more. i'm just kidding. some of my best friends are psychiatrists. what i discovered very quickly is that what psychiatrists do on television and what they do in real life are two very different things, and actually what they do in real life is considerably more important than what the da on township. some of the more intellectual members of the medical community but it wasn't what wanted to do. and i had to say, now what? and i said, well, what are you really good at? i believe god gives everybody special gifts. and i stopped and analyzed my own gifts and i realized i had a lot of eye-hand coordination.
i was very careful person. never knocked things over. a good characteristic for a brain surgeon, by the w. i could think and see in three dimensions. i loved to dissect things. that coupled with a've love of the brain, said you would woulda natural in neurosurgery. some people thought that was a strange occupation for me because at that thyme had been only eight black under row insurgence the world. but i never thought about things like that. i thought about where do you fit? and it turned out to be a very excellent choice for me. i started out as an adult neurosurgeon. but i very quickly learned that no matter how good an operation you do in those chronic back pain patients, they never get any better. until they get their settlement,
whereas -- [laughter] >> whereas with children, you know, what you see is what you get. when they feel good, you know, they feel good. when they feel bad, you know they feel bad. and here's the thing. you can operate on a kid for 12, 14, 16 hours, and if you're successful, your reward may be 40, 50, 60 years of life. whereas with an old geezer, you spend that time operating and they die in five years of something else. so i'd like to get a big return on my investment, and i -- just kidding. i like old people. but actually i'm one of them now. and actually a large part of my practice now involves a condition that affects primarily older people, called trigeminal neuralgia. a very painful condition. used to be called the suicide disease the pain was so bad. and we have the ability to get
rid of the pain, and i tell you, there is nothing like seeing some hob had their life just turned upside-down and to be able to do a procedure and all of a sudden they have their life back. and that's what medicine is all about, being able to intervene at times like that and make a difference. now, before i go any further, i want to take just a brief moment for a disclaimer. everybody makes disclaimers these days. i belong the those board or associated with this group and therefore take everything with a grain of salt. well, what i have noticed in recent years is that it's now virtually impossible to speak to large group of people without offending someone. have you noticed that? when i was a kid, you know, they used to si, sticks and stones break bymy bones but words will never hurt me. kids don't hear that phrase
anymore because everybody walks around with their feelings on their shoulder, waiting for somebody to say, and then they can say, oh, did you hear that? and then they can't hear anything else you say. i remember talking about the difference between a human brain and a dog's brain, and man got offended. he said you can't talk about dogs like that. and another time i talked to a group about how the fashion industry has gotten the young ladies to think they're supposed to be so skinny. they look like to they escaped from a concentration camp. and a jewish man said, you can't mention concentration camps. that's way too sensitive. it would be as if i said something to you about slavery. i said, you can talk about slavery all you want. doesn't bother me. some people just choose to get offended. so this is my disclaimer. it is not my intention to offend anyone here this evening and if anyone is offended, too bad. because i got to tell you, i don't really believe in
political correctness. and in fact, i actually think it is a very destructive force that is in the process of ruining our nation. i talk about this a lot in my latest book, "america the beautiful." but think about this. a lot of the people who founded this nation came here trying to escape from people who tried to tell you what you could think and what you could say. and here we are re-introducing it through the back door. exactly the same thing. and it's absolutely absurd. and really, the emphasis should not be on unanimity of speech, and ewan unanimity d -- unit of thought. the emphasis should be on
discussions with whom you disagree and we can have intelligent dialogue. how can you have real dialogue when you can't even say what you believe. you can't even say what you mean. you have unnecessarily artificial conversations, and our society is now full of artificial conversations, and it's one of the reasons that we are making very little progress, and it's something that i think people are going to have to get excited about once again. recognizing that, you know, our society is changing quite dramatically right now. there is a very secular segment that is trying to change the nature of our society. and they have employed political
correctness as a means to mute discussion on what is being done. and the only way it can be combated is that people have to learn how to speak up. because there are few people with microphones and podiums who impose their will on the rest of the people, to the point that in this nation, where all of our coins and all of our bills say "in god we trust," we are afraid to say merry christmas. how did that happen? and the only way that kind of thing happens is when vast majority of people allow themselves to be controlled by a vocal minority. you think back to nazi germany. most of those people did not believe in what hitler was
doing. but did they speak up? no. they kept their mouths shut. and you see what happened. we're in the process of watching a lot of things that characterize our greatness, go down the tubes, because of passivity, and when people start revving things up a little bit, like the tea party, they get labeled as anarchists and crazy people, because there is an establishment consisting of democrats and republicans, who want to maintain the status quo and want to maintain their power and to grow their power and to grow their intrusiveness and they don't want anybody to say anything about it. and that's really what is a lot of political correctness is all
about. you'll read about that in great detail in my newest book. but i had this tremendous dream of becoming a doctor, but there were problems long -- along the way. not the least of which is my parents got divorce evidence early on. that was devastating. some of you have been through that. nowow what i'm talking about. if anybody is thinking about getting a divorce and you have children, please think about it again. ask yourself, aim being selfish? it's the same person that you loved and adored not too long ago. and most divorce secondary to selfy,ness. -- selfishness. people think about themselves and not about the unit. not about the family. not about the child.
just a little food for thought. but at any rate. my parents got divorced, and this particular case my mother discovered that my father was a big mist, had another family so i don't think she really had a whole lot of choice there she only had a third-grade education and she was faced with the prospect of raising two young sons in inner city detroit with little money and little education. we ended up moving to boston to live with her older sister and brother-in-law, in a typical tenement, boarded up windows, sirens, gangs, murders. both of my older cousins, who we loved, were killed. and i never expected to live to be beyond 25 years of age. because that's what i saw. around me all the time. and there was never money for anything. we'd go to the store and my brother and i would want some bubblegum or some jawbreak
issues and we would ask my mother if we could get them, and of course the answer was always the same. there was no money for that. and she wanted to get it for us, but the look of pain in heir eyes was so great. pretty soon we just stopped asking. we didn't want to see that look in her eyes anymore. but as difficult a life as she had -- she worked two to three jobs at a time. as a domestic, cleaning other people's houses, because she didn't want to be on welfare. even though she had only a third-grade education she was very observant and notice that anybody she knew went on welfare, ever came off of it. so she said, i don't want to go on it. i don't care how hard and how long i have to work, but as difficult as her life was, she never adopted what i called the victim's mentality. she never felt sorry for
herself. i think that was a good thing. the problem was, she never felt sorry for us, either. so, there was never any excuse that we could give that was adequate. she would just say, do you have a brain? and if the answer was, yes, then you could have thought your way out of it. it doesn't matter what john or susan or mary or david or anybody else did or said. the interesting thing is, when people won't accept your excuses, pretty soon your start looking for excuses and you look for ways to get things done. and i think that was perhaps the most important thing my mother dade for my brother kurtis and i. and i think also the poverty. the hardship, that we faced, was not such a bad thing. because we were -- we had each other. we were happy. even though we were very poor.
i really don't think money brings happiness. it's purpose and family and thinking about others. those are the kinds of things that bring contentment and happiness. and people who focus their desires for material things are destined to bev disappointed in the long wrong. and i told my three sons as they were growing up, they were much more disadvantaged than i was because, see, they've got ton travel all over the world, to do things, they've never had any need for anything. and i'm not sure that's healthy. so, my wife and i tried to create artificial hardship for them in order to harden them up and make them ready for the world, and i think it actually worked out pretty well. one of them is an engineer.
one of them is the vice president of a wealth management firm. and one of them is an account. nobody wanted to go into medicine. they all thought i worked too hard. but it was okay as long as they become productive members of society, and that was really our goal for them. but at any rate, as a fifth grader, i was not doing particularly well in school. and i think -- do we have any fifth graders here today? you guys look intelligent you look like you're doing very nell school. i was terrible. in fact, my nickname was dummy. and all the other kid liked having me in the class baas i was the safety. in never had to worry about getting the lowest grade on at the test as long is a was there i remember we are were once having an argument about who was
the dumbest kid in the school. and it wasn't a big argument. they all agreed it was me. then someone tried to extend the argue to what who was the dumbest person in the world. and i said, wait a minute. i said, there are billions of people in the world. they said, yep. and you're the dumbest one. well, to add insult to injury, that day we had a math quiz and you had to pass your paper to the person behind you and they would correct it and hand it back to you. and then you had to report your score outloud. not a problem if you got 100 or 59. major problem if there was a zero and you got in an argument about the dumbest person in the world. so i started scheming. i said, i know what i do. when she calls my name, i'll mumble. and the teacher will think i said one thing and the girl behind me will think i said something else. so when she called my name, i,
neh, and she said nine, you got nine right? this is wonderful. if you just applied yourself. class, i want you to understand, ben gentleman minimum has gotten nine right. if anyone -- it was 30 questions but she kept ranting and raving and the girl behind me couldn't stand and it she stood up and said, he said none, and they were just rolling in the ills, and if i could have just disappeared into thin air, never to blow heard from in the history of the world, i would gladly have done. so so i couldn't. so i just sat there like it didn't bother me. but it bothered me a love. not enough to make me study but bothered me a lot. and i was just one of those kinds of kids. but unfortunately, there are lot of those kinds of kids still around. even today. i have a program at the hospital, and i bring in 800 students at a time. i show them slides of what goes
on in a major teaching hospital. research hospital. and we talk about human potential and i let them ask me questions. sometimes i ask the questions. and i remember asking once, how many of you can name for me five nba players? do you know virtually all the hands went up. i said, what about five nfl players. all the hand went up. major league baseball all the hand went up. rap singers, movie stars, all the hand win up. who can name for me five nobel prize wined. out of 800, ten hands went up say. , leave your hands up because i'm going to call on one of you. all the hands went down. what does that tell you? i said, well, this is the information age. the age of technology. who can tell me what microprocessor is? only one young man raised his
hand okay. on him. he probably said, a microprocessor is a tiny processor. that was it. that was the extent of his knowledge. extremely superficial. and you know, that is really quite troubling, because what are the implications of that kind of ignorance. there was a survey, some of you might be official we, in re '90s, looking at the able of eighth grade equivalents in 22 nations to solve so-called complex math and science questions. were one of the 22 nations and we came in number 21. we barely beat out number 22. it was neck and neck. i'm serious. and in the age of technology, the information age, we produce 70,000 engineers a year in this nation. 40% of whom are foreigners. china produces 400,000 engineers a year.
you know, this is serious stuff. when we're talking about the future and our role in the future. we need to begin to make adjustments. we need to make them quite soon. we can't sit around just being enamored, at sports and entertainment. probably shouldn't say that at the university of alabama, but i think you get it. i think we all get it. because we are the pinnacle nation in the world right now. but we're not the first pinnacle nation. there's another pinnacle nation before. ancient egypt. greece. rome. great britain. france. pinnacle nations, number one, no competition, going to be there forever, they thought. where are they now? what's happened to each and
every one of them? basically the same thing. they became enamored of sports and entertainment, lifestyles of the rich and famous. turned a blind eye to political corruption. lost their moral compass and went right down the tubes. some people say that can't happen to the united states. but i think an honest assessment would demonstrate it is already in the process of happening. and the real question is, can we be the first pinnacle nation to actually learn from those who preceded us? and take corrective action? or must be inexorably still go down the same destructive path? that is really the question. i personally believe that we can. and that was the reason my wife and i wrote our latest book. "america the beautiful." we can, we can make a difference, because we are
different. this nation is the child of every other nation. therefore, we should have the interest of every other nation at heart. we are the perfect ones to remain in a pinnacle position for that and a number of other reasons. but, you know, as far as our educational doldrums are concerneddor, shoe know this is not the way it's always been here. inn fact in 1831, when alexis cookville came here, studied america -- because the europeans were just fascinated with america. they say, here's a nation barely 50 years old, which is already competing with us on virtually every level. that's impossible. how could a fledgling nation be
doing that. so he wanted to come over here and dissect and see what the heck was going on over here, and while he was at it, he say, let me look at their school system, and he was blown away to see that virtually anybody finishing the second grade was completely literate. i mean, he could go out and find a mountain man who could read the newspaper, who could have a decent political discussion with him. he had never seen anything like that before. go to some of the museums and look at some of the letters written by people on the frontier in the wild west. you would think a college professor had written the letters you. look at the vocab clear and the gramar. a lot more emphasis in times past. if you really want to be blown away, get hood of a sixth grate pet exam from the 1830s. there's questions in the book
from an exit exam that has -- see if you can pass that test. i doubt that most college graduates today could pass that test. we have dumbed things down to that level. why is that so important? because the founders of our nation made it very clear that, for our type of government to succeed, it requires a very well-informed and educated populace. they say, without that, what will happen is that you will have ever-expanding government that will eventually take over the lives and the functions of the people. that's why it is so important, and it's not too late -- for people to educate themselves, to
actually know what's going on so that you can not a be -- not be easily led by some pundit on television who tells you what your supposed to think. who you're supposed to like, who you're not supposed to like. we rev reached the station where a lot of people go to the voting booth and the only thing they're looking for is a name that looks familiar to them. they don't know anything about them. oh, yeah, know that name. i'll vote for that one. that is irresponsible. that is not what the intention was. the intention was for the people to be very involved. and very informed. and you look at how things have changed dramatically. the founding fathers were smart people. but they didn't anticipate everything. for instance, they looked at a system of government with an executive branch, and a legislative branch, and a
judicial branch. and that comes from the book of eye -- isaiah, with the way, as did a lot of things in our government. the judeo^- christian basis for the establishment of our government. but it worked very well the way that it was stabbed. -- established. what they did not anticipate was a fourth branch of government, which has grown very big and powerful and that's called special interests. and why did that occur? well, the way it was initially set up, it was sacrificed to go into government and therefore it wasn't really anticipated people would want to stay there for the rest of their lives. they would go, serve, go back to their community and somebody else would come. but at it changed and now people want to stay for their whole lives and they need money to do that and they have to establish
relationships with powerful financial entities and that cannot be done without quid pro quo. hence you have the establishment of another branch of government which is very powerful and distorts the will of the people. i will go so far as to say virtually anything that is -- that makes no sense, is because of the special interest groups behind it. ...
what kind of wisdom was that? she said we could watch only two or three tv programs during the week and with all that spare time we had to read two books a piece on gadgetry public library and submit to her written book reports, which she couldn't read but we didn't know that. sure to put check marks in highlights and underlines and we would think she was reading an, that she wasn't. but you know, i was not very happy with this as you might imagine the beginning. but you know, after a few weeks i actually began to enjoy reading those books because we are desperately poor. but it didn't cost anything to go to the library. between the pages of the books i could go anywhere can it be anybody, do anything. but imagine myself conducting next pyramids. i began to know things that nobody else knew and the space
of the year the year and half off the bottom of the class to the top of the class much to the consternation people used to call me tommy and they were now calling the danny, danny, danny hadi work this problem? essays that make heat and on strategy. i was perhaps a little noxious. but it sure felt good to say that stuff. the key thing was i had a very different impression at that time of who i was. and i had an insatiable appetite for knowledge. you know, you never saw me without a book. i went from being called me to being called bookworm. even my mother would say benjamin put the book down and feature food. it didn't matter and what a tremendous difference it made. and it's one of the reasons that my wife and i started the carson scholar fun. you know, it has two aspects. and help yourself to go to the website, carson scholars.org.
i do not time to go much into it except to say that we would go into schools and we would see all of these trophies, it all-state this, that and the other. what about the academic superstar? what did they get? may be a national honor society pen, pat on the head. erika meant very little nerd. nobody really cared about them. they really never got much. we tried to put them on the same kind of pedestal as the all-state athlete, given the same kind of recognition. but the other thing we do is put in meeting rooms. and all over the country. because there are a lot of students who come from homes where there are no books. and then they go to a school where there's no library. and what are the chances of that individual loving to read? and we know there is a strong
correlation between those who are able to read well and success in our society? we have to make every effort we can to change that fast. we can't let it gradually change because we are under the gun right now. i may mention that survey. their other nations that are painting much more quickly than we are. and we have to be incredibly serious about this being engaged. so i ask you, tonight go to carson scholars.org, get involved because we have to change this if we are going to survive at its inclination. the other aspect of the scholarship fund, you know, in order to even be considered, child has to have a 3.7 gpa on a
4.0 scale. most of them have 4.0. they are very coming very smart kids. but they also have to demonstrate humanitarian collie, that they care about are the people. they can't win unless they have demonstrated that for more than the six weeks before they have occasion to. they have to be sustained humanitarian activities. why is that so important? well, this nation is a humanitarian nation. and about it. anytime there's a disaster, whose first in line to give money, to give supplies? we are. and it's always been that way. you can even go back to the very earliest part of our nation. you know, europeans were looking at us and they were saying those americans are just crazy. they said -- i mean, look at the
fourth and the catalogs in the vanderbilt in the carnegies and the melons on the rockefellers. those people have enormous amounts of money and nobody else has any money. you can't have a system like that. that doesn't work. you need to have an overarching government that collects the money and redistribute the wealth in the way that it sees fit. in other words, the united states of america was responsible for socialism because we were the ones who inspired them to do that. but you know, they made one miscalculation. they assume that those names that i just mentioned were like the rich people and their nation who just accumulated wealth into themselves and passed down from generation to generation. but all those names that i just
mentioned poured enormous amounts of wealth back into infrastructure and to build in fact very, power mills, created an environment that tends burdine the most prolific middle class the world had ever seen. they also created foundations, charitable organizations, schools, hospitals. that has been in nature of wealth in america. in 2009, 40 of the wealthiest in america pledge to give away half of their wealth. call any country in europe and asked the 40 wealthiest families to give away half their wealth. they will look at you like you have three heads. this is an american phenomenon and it is very important that we do not extinguish a with class warfare. it was dividing people up in any
way that no matter who does it and what allows strength together. cannot stand. so when we start talking about fairness, what we need to do with all get together and ask ourselves what is fair? in my opinion, god is fair. and what does god say? is that i want a tie. he didn't say if your crops fail you don't know me anything. so there must be something very fair about proportionality. you make $10 billion to give a billion. you make $10, you get one. why is that complex? some people say well it doesn't hurt the guy who gives a billion mismatch.
just put a billion dollars in the pot. it's that kind of think administrated 602 banks in the cayman islands. that's craziness. and we need to just abandon what we need to do and make a fair system where we don't have a bunch of loopholes and ways for people to get out of things. and it's time for us as a nation to sit down together and figure out how to get it done in a truly fair way as they were going to do this for you. that's really not fair and it's really not the american way when we try to pit one group against another in order to gain political power. and these are all things that were talked about in detail by the founders of our nation. which i hope you will get the
new book and read it because of that at all quotation my my wife did all the research. you know, it not rewritten history. this is what actually happened and that established a nation that is so special. why do i think america is so special? for hundreds of years, for thousands of years before america came on the scene people did things the same way. within 200 years that the establishment of this nation, men were walking on the moon, completely changed the course of mankind and of the world, the thinking, the entrepreneurship, the caring that established this nation and we cannot allow that to disappear for months. well, you would think that now that i am a terrific student, everything was going to go well.
when i got into high school i ran from north carolina to its called pearce -- tears people who incurred -- they tell you what kind of close you should wear and we should hang out. i got caught up in the up and went from student would be a student to a c. student. i didn't care because i was cool. i waited the whole year before my mother again was able to get me to understand it wasn't what she wore on the house i, but it was what she had appeared that made the difference. i got back on the right track for never calling me nerd and poindexter and uncle tom. but i would always shut them up by saying one thing. i say let's see what i'm doing in 20 years and see what you're doing in 20 years. they must've believed me because when i graduate from high school they'll put me most likely to
succeed. that's the negative peer pressure is. unfortunately it is not restricted to just high schools. you will find the negative peer pressure in all aspects of your life. people trying to control your life, trying to control your behavior. your abnormal and we've got to learn to think for ourselves and to move forward. you know, in a logical way and not in a political way. it will make all the difference in the world. but you know, when i take it back on track, there is one thing -- overriding thing i wanted to do. i wanted to be a contestant on a feeder program, ge college ball. there's a few people. that was my favorite tv program that came on every sunday at 6:00. they pitted two colleges against each other. they would ask questions that science, math, history,
geography. o-oscar the best i've come up there was asked questions about classical art and classical music. there is no way you're going to classical art of classical music at high school in inner-city detroit. my high school as he said van gogh, didn't they put gas in it, the fan will go. they had no idea what you're talking about. i would get on the bus and go downtown to the detroit institute of art day after day, week after week, they painted them when they're born,, listening to a portable radio, kids in detroit that it was nice. i mean, a black kid in motown could think of mosiah? i try to convince them that no one motown was most like to know is. even decide which college to attend. i cannot money to apply to one college. i said i'm going to apply the one that wins the grand championship in college ball. the grand championship is between harvard and yell and
yell just demolish harvard, so i do want to go to school with a bunch of dummies, so they're not probably defending somebody. so i applied to yield and fortunately they accepted me with a scholarship in the year i went there, whoever was the year college ball in off the air. but it was okay because years later i decided i wanted to be a narrow surgeon. and i wanted to go to the place best-known for her surgery. that of course was john hopkins, dandy walker come all the biggest answer the problem was it took 125 top. how was i going to get to be one of them? well, the fellow who was in charge of the residency program was also in charge of cultural affairs at the hospital. we talked about neurosurgeons, somehow the conversation turned to classical music and we talked over an hour but different conductors understand that composers, orchestras. he was on cloud nine. there was no way he wasn't taken
in the program. and you know, some people used to criticize me when i was learning the classical art and they said, you know that's european history. that's not culturally relevant. but really, what does that term mean? cultural relevance to the citizen of the united states of america. go to alice island. get to that museum. look at the faces on the wall, those pictures of people came to this nation forever part of the world, many with all the things they could carry. people who work that eight hours for 10, 12, 16, six or seven days a week. no such thing, not for themselves so that their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters might have an opportunity.
that is what is culturally relevant. hundreds of years before that hundreds of immigrants came in slave ships and even harder for less but they too had a dream that one day their great grandsons and granddaughters might pursue freedom and prosperity in this nation and of all the nations in the world, this one, and the united states of america is the only one big enough and great enough to allow all those people from all those background to achieve their journeyings. and that is why every single one of us is culturally relevant to every single one of us. and that is why we are called the united states of america. and we would do well to recognize that our diversity is not a weakness. it is a tremendous blessing and
a tremendous strength. you know, i was asked once by an intel reporter they said dr. carson i notice he does speak very much about race. why is that? i said that's because i'm a narrow surgeon. she looked at me quite critically. couldn't understand the correlation. i said he sees when i cut that scalpel and take the bone often open to him i'm operate another thing that makes them who they are. as of the cover doesn't make make them who they are. it's the brain that make them who they are. but when you begin to think i'm that kind of a level about things and not just knee-jerk reactions to superficial things, you become a different person and that is why we have the kind of brain power that we have today. when i begin to realize all those things i had a very, very rapid career and in no time i found myself chief of pediatric survey are with all kinds of fabulous things beginning to
happen. hysterectomies, it should display a cases, tumors, conjoined twins and may starve is extremely rapidly. but i am very, very grateful that i was born in this nation where you can make choices and where you have the ability through hard work to control your destiny, where you don't have to be a big time unless you choose to be a big. and that is what i mean when i say think they carried each other letters mean something special. nothing wrong with that. i've nothing against against sports entertainers, but we need to elevate academic achievement to the appropriate level and we've got to do it quickly. we have one generation, no more than that to fix this problem. we have to be serious.
the h. is for honesty. but acclaimed homicide. dopa skeletons in the closet. they always come back to hockey. if you're so the truth you cannot remember what she said three said three months ago. the eyes for insight, which comes to listening to people verdict on the train to go. one from triumphs, learn from mistakes. dns for nice. the nasty people. once they get at with suspicion of why you're being nice, but being nice to you. and if you're a democrat, one shouldn't make sure you are nice to a republican for a week. and if you're republican come and make sure you're nice to all democrats for a week. i want you to get used to doing that because we have to learn how to work together. we have much more in common than we have apart and we need to understand what our principles are.
what are the values? what do we stand for in this nation? not allow ourselves to be divided up by pundits who derive their power and their income by stirring up trouble among the people. we're smarter than not we can do better than that. the case for knowledge, which is the thing that makes it more valuable person. group in detroit, like cars. are they important? no. i can get them all right back almost immediately. but what is that peter? or at least could be for managed care. that is what solomon, the wisest man who ever lived meant when he said the knowledge wisdom and understanding because those who give all the pollutants. more importantly you understand the hill of beans in the most important thing is developing your god-given talents to become valuable to the people.
to be as for books which is the mechanism for retaining the knowledge and it's never too late. another did eventually teach yourself to really got her ged at her honorary doctorate degree so it's never too late. the second i is for in-depth learning for the sake of knowledge and understanding. the last letter g is for god. we live in a country that is trying to throw god out. i think that is a tremendous mistake. many people who attract rewrite our history as they are founding fathers didn't believe in god. they would be asked. that means a god who just put in motion a walk to win. but if you read their writing, and many of which are in our new book, you will see they were not ds. once you think about this.
our founding document, the declaration of independence talks about inalienable rights given to us by our creator, a.k.a. god. the pledge of allegiance to athletics as we are one nation under god. many courtrooms on the wall says in god we trust. every coin in your pocket, every bill in your wallet says in god we trust. visit our documents, our pledge, courts and their money but were not post to talk about it. what in the world is that? in medicine we call it schizophrenia. does that explain a lot of what is going on in our nation today? we need to make it perfectly clear that it's okay to live by god the print does that explain a lot of what is going on in our nation today? we need to make it perfectly clear that it's okay to live by god the print is loving your fellow man, caring about your neighbor, our nation today? we need to make it perfectly clear that it's okay to live by god the print is loving your fellow man, caring about your neighbor, developing your god-given talents to the utmost but it's valuables and principles that govern our lives and if we do that, we will truly
have one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. we have an opportunity for a few questions. there are some roving microphone and would like for you to use those so that everybody can hear the question. i see a hand right here. >> hi, minimus jessica cooper burke ran a 2009 fellow from seattle, washington. you are pointing to the
bioethics committee and he spoke earlier about how the u.s. inspired socialism. i was wondering if you could take a second talk about the ethical implications of universal health care and what your opinions are on that. >> okay, well there is no question that we need health care reform in this country. we spend more than twice as much per capita for health care in this country as the next closest nation and yet we have tremendous access problems. there is an enormous amount of ways and efficiency in our time. that is not going to be corrected quite frankly by throwing more money at it. it is going to be correct by doing intelligent things. for instance, if you didn't happen to me in birmingham, alabama versus new york city versus miami versus los angeles
first detroit, different cause, different ways of submitting bills and collecting, which all justifies the mountains and mountains of paper and all of them has to be paid out of the health care dollar. that is craziness in every diagnosis has something on the code and every procedure has something on the cpt coder with computers, which means it can all be done electronic and virtually insult without all those papers and people that push them around. by special interest groups would mind that because there's a special interest groups that an essay from all of that. and you know, we have to be able to get through that and do things in an intelligent fashion. know what i would do because what the special-interest groups say some doctrines would be unscrupulous and indicate they have done to happen back to me that once the get paid twice and get the money right away. those in medicine know there's a
few that would do such opinion. for those instead of building a gigantic expensive bureaucracy, why not just apply what i call the saudi arabian solution? why do people not feel very much in saudi arabia? they cut off their lands. you cut off their fingers. well, i wouldn't necessarily do that, but there would be several penalties for doing it. i mean, you lose your license for life, go to jail for no less than 10 years. as all your personal assets. on the ink anyone would even think about doing it. as proof of that, look at sweden. we used to have a tremendous drunk driving problem in 20 years ago they enact them the most severe drunk driving penalties in the world and it's uniformly applied and there's no drunk driving in sweden. so there are ways to use penalties may have to be used across the board he can't play
favorites and they have to be consistent in the behavior dives out very quickly. also there's a lot of other solutions that i mentioned in the book "america the beautiful," that really i think solve these problems quite effectively, get the cost down tremendously and provide actually better access than we have now. so it can be done. i think we should do it. i think we can do it and we can do it for even less if we do it in an intelligent and rational way. >> yes, she's coming with the microphone. >> i know attacked earlier about music, but i never had the opportunity to ask you what is your favorite classic oldies. >> that's a tough one because i
love so many classical pieces of music. you know, my wife is a classical musician and when we were at home on friday night about this time it would be laying on the couch and should be plain and pml. and it's just those who thing. but i pray merely like baroque music and i love handles messiah. i could listen to that all day, every day. but you know what was interest team some years ago when we're separating the band are twins in south africa, and these were twins joined at the top of the head, facing in opposite direction and there's been 13 attempts to separate twins like that, none of which have been successful. we had been barred on the extraordinary difficult mission and we reached a point with the blood vessels were so entangled
we stop the operation decided to go on the conference. i suggested we should just cover the area over which scan and come back in a few months and maybe they would've developed enough collaterals that we could cut through. the doctors from symbian south korea said we don't have enough ability to keep partially separate twins the lives and they would die. i thought the world on the shoulders and i supported the view. i went in there with my scalpel, my loops and a prayer at the cutting between the vessels that were so thin you can see the anesthetic opals coursing through them, just daring you to make a neck. to make a long story short, when i made the final cut that separated those plans over the stereo system came the course and everybody had goosebumps. we finished the operation after 28 hours one of the twins popped his eyes open, which for the
tube and the other when did the same thing. by the time i got to the icu within two days they were eating. within two weeks they were curling and today they are thriving in the great doing very well. another question? >> dr. carson, based upon some of the things you were discussing with politics and government, sounds like you would be in favor of implementing term limits in some other changes in washington. can you discuss that? been a well yes, it would very much be in favor of term laments. fully recognizing the argument that, you know, if people only have a couple years to serve, they never really get to know the system and the usefulness is limited. and i understand that and i appreciate that.
and what i would do to solve the problem is give people longer-term. i make the turn six, eight, even 10 years. but you cannot be reelect it. you can be recalled, give people the possibility of recalling every two years, but she cannot be reelect it and that would be a severe blow to the fourth branch of government. i really think that is the only way to get it done. now is that going to happen when the people in congress are the ones who get to vote on not? i'm going to say something very radical right. it is going to require a constitutional convention. just like we used out back in the early days. that is what it is going to take because things have gotten so far out of whack that it needs to be readjusted and it's got to
be readjusted before it is too late. any others? yes, young lady. and by the way, for those who don't know we have some young people here from restoration economy, which takes young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and really tries to prepare them for the world. and you will see if you talk to some of these young people that they're doing a tremendous job. >> word is your brother curtis live? >> my brother lives in atlanta area and he is an aeronautical and mechanical engineer, works for parker aviation. so i became a brain surgeon and he became the rocket scientists. [laughter] i see a couple hints over here. >> he spoke a little bit earlier
about the vick dems mentality. what actions can be taken as a society to try to change the culture? >> guest: >> good question. first of all, i think we have to continue to manifest the compassion that has always been a part of who we are. sometimes, you know, we even have to go above and beyond what we want to do. you know another thing, for instance, some of you who are older remember you never used to hear very much about indigent people not getting medical care. is it because there were no indigent people? no, it was because many years ago insurance companies didn't have the ability to run roughshod over everybody. and you know, they had to pay a decent amount when he saw a patient who is insured so that
positions had somewhat of a cushion and virtually all of them included a substantial number of indigent people in the practice and nobody said do about it. which is something you did something that was six at the view. and now they don't have the ability to do that because they run on such margins. but you know, people have to find ways to do that anyway. to get these people taking care of. but it is mentality you sent and that is stoked by many in the political arena in order to increase their own power. they want people to be dependent. they want people to be the them so they can let them as their great savior and so that they can vote for them and keep them in power, exactly the wrong course of action to take.
we need to hold up in front of people good examples. for instance, there is an organization known as the horatio alger society. they select 10 to 12 people each year and these are people who came from horrible, horrible background and have achieved at the highest levels in our society. those stories need to be out there. that is where horatio alger used to read about on the famous writer rags to riches stories. we need to help people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. it is not the videos. and that is where you become the vick them when you start thinking that somebody else is in control of your destiny. and not simply is not the case when you live in a free country. you have to make sure it remains a free country because it's getting more and more regulated
and blasphemous free. but that is because the people of shrunken back and when the people shrink back, something has to fill that void and it becomes government. people have got to become more vocal, no question about it. >> he spoke about politics and elaborate. i just took took a job working in library. most public libraries are funded by city and county governments and the trend in funding, as he sat exposing people to stuff they don't have with the library does, can you share some thoughts about that in the trade to funding towards his institution? >> well, kentucky -- what might worry at the library? tuesday night of this week? we were at the main branch of the baltimore library. it was actually a thank you for
candy in my and some other philanthropists in the baltimore area who have done a lot for the library system. the reason i bring that up is because libraries are so important we shouldn't depend on the government. you know, we should take care of our own libraries and arab communities. people should get involved in something that can have such a profound effect on the young people. we've got to stop depend on the government. we can do this ourselves. and if you go back to early america where we have a large number of libraries established, they were maintained by the communities. we need to get back to doing that again. i think that is where will have very successful libraries.
and while on that topic, churches. why are churches taxing them? because they are supposed to be doing stuff in their communities. they are not supposed to be social clubs. and now i have a situation where the government is competing with the churches and still giving the churches tax exemptions. so let's not be in schizophrenic about it. either don't get churches exemption so that the churches help themselves. i think if we get why people involved in communities like they used to be in caring about each other, a lot of these problems get taken care of and we can live the government to do with the government is supposed to do. i see a hand over here. homonym or questions can we take? >> tomorrow. >> tomorrow, okay. >> i know that university of
engineering colleges are working on to knowledge use to help with surgeries. had he feel about the impact of technology in the medical field? >> i have seen neurosurgery change tremendous the on the basis of technology in the decade that i have been in the field. it is about to take another giant leap. now we have tremendous imaging that very soon we will have a pulitzer already robots working in some areas of surgery and they are not quite refined after due neurosurgery, but that is just a matter of time. and when they are come the kinds of things that we will be able to do will be absolutely astonishing. and you know, i will be too old, but i will still be watching with great anticipation and making a few suggestions about it is very exciting.
one last question. i let the people at the microphone make the choice i won't be the bad guy. >> high, after teaching school across the street from benjamin s. person and in atlanta for three years i happened across gifted hands and read it and enjoyed it and i haven't read your most recent book, but it sounds like the two have taken on very different tones and i'm curious of politics or any future now or where you're going. >> there's been a lot of people that try to convince me that i should go into politics. but until the hand of god grants me and puts me in that arena, i will not do it. but i think there have to be some voices that cry in the wilderness to help white people out. we are devoting time and can dni, a lot of energy to
education because we recognize that ultimately if our nation is to succeed, then we must be at the top and not at the bottom of the academic pio. so i think that is every bit as important as everything i could possibly do in the political arena. >> what was your hardest surgery? >> there are so many that were so hard. you know, i spent a lot of time training. but one that comes to mind is actually as an adult. his wife was a nurse on the pediatric surgery and he caught
and have fallen down, a genetic disorder that involves tumors that develop in different parts of the central nervous system. it turns out that he developed one of these jammers in the middle of his brainstem. no one on the adult side could come up with a solution and his wife coming in outcome had been working with ray for years and she said you do all these amazing things. you can operate on a has-been. she said -- she's a kid at heart -- you know i talk to him and i said, you know, there is a 50/50 chance that you will die on the table if we tried to take a tumor out. then he said something relatively profound. he said there's 100% chance i'm going to die if you don't take it out. so i'll go with the 50.
during that operation, which was very, very difficult, the evoked potentials, like the electric waves, so you have one for the heart, one for the brain, they went flat. the anesthesiologist who is not in favor of the operation the first place and see that, killed him. well, i wasn't happy, but we did get the tumor out and be close to not have a rather somber and the next morning he was awake and cracking jokes. he did perfectly fine. but i don't necessarily believe some of those cases are me. i was pray and ask god to help me. i asked him to give me wisdom and he never let me down. that's one of the reasons my faith is so strong.